Chapter 16Tracing Nitrogen Sources and Cycling in Catchments

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the uses of isotopes to understand water chemistry.I Isotopic compositions generally cannot be interpreted successfully in the absence of other chemical and hydrologic data. The chapter focusses on uses of isotopes in tracing sources and cycling of nitrogen in the water-component of forested catchment, and on dissolved nitrate in shallow waters, nutrient uptake studies in agricultural areas, large-scale tracer experiments, groundwater contamination studies, food-web investigations, and uses of compound-specific stable isotope techniques. Shallow waters moving along a flowpath through a relatively uniform material and reacting with minerals probably do not achieve equilibrium but gradually approach some steady-state composition. The chapter also discusses the use of isotopic techniques to assess impacts of changes in land-management practices and land use on water quality. The analysis of individual molecular components for isotopic composition has much potential as a method for tracing the source, biogeochemistry, and degradation of organic liquids and gases because different materials have characteristic isotope spectrums or biomarkers.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Chapter 16Tracing Nitrogen Sources and Cycling in Catchments
ISBN 978-0-444-81546-0
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-444-81546-0.50023-9
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description Chapter 16